BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has greatly improved the camping spots at its Deadman’s Basin fishing access site northwest of Ryegate. The department also has started collecting camping fees for use of the improved sites. Earlier this month, FWP crews graded and added gravel to roads and 25 camping spots in the 101-acre site long the southern side of Deadman’s Basin Reservoir. Fire rings and picnic tables will be installed at all camp sites this summer. Fees for camping in the improved camp spots vary, depending on a number of factors that are posted at a kiosk on the FWP property. Montana has 337 fishing access sites, about four dozen of which charge a free for camping. Deadman’s Basin is a 1,954-acre irrigation reservoir that is host to numerous bird species along with trout, kokanee and more than a dozen types of warm-water fish. The most recent state-record tiger muskie – a 38.75-pound, 50-incher – came from Deadman’s Basin. -FWP-
Nature lends a hand to control an invasion
Lat month we featured the story of a Colorado lake that had become overrun by invasive goldfish. Someone released three or four goldfish into a Colorado pond about two years ago and now there are 3,000 – 4,000 that threaten the ecology of the lake In an interesting twist, officials recently visited the lake to plan a goldfish removal program only to find that pelicans had done the work for them. Apparently attracted by the brightly colored goldfish several pelicans discovered an easy meal and the lake was nearly void of the invaders. In fact, as workers watched pelicans swooped in to remove a few more of the remaining fish. Although this is a fun story, I worry that it can help to feed a sense that nature will heal itself. There is no doubt that this is a unique situation that is not likely to ever occur anywhere else. The release of aquarium animals is never appropriate under any circumstances. Even though this story turned out OK, the next aquarium release could cause huge problems.
Previously Posted on Facebook
We review news stories on a daily basis and post stories of interest on Facebook as we find them. However, we know that many of you are not using Facebook so here are the links we posted during October on our Facebook pages. Our Clean Angling Facebook page is where we post links that deal with fish, fishing, cleaning, boat inspections, and other issues of interest to anglers. This summer, boaters in Grand Teton National Park will need to purchase two different decals before they will be allowed to boat on park waters Sportfishing in the Great Lakes has seen steady declines as invasive species alter fish communities and significantly change fishing tactics. Will commercial fishing charters be able to survive? Yellowstone Park has teamed with the states of Wyoming and Montana to develop a plan to remove non-native brook trout from the Soda Butte drainage. The Park is accepting public comment on the plan Fishing in waters infested with zebra and quagga mussels presents challenges to anglers. Here is a point-by-point discussion of how to best fish for smallmouth bass in infested waters Red tailed catfish are a predatory invader from South America that is becoming established in the US. They can grow to 4 feet in length with weights over 100 pounds. Read about the fish caught by a 5 year old Are you interested in hunting for invasive species in California? Here is some info on the law Snakeheads are vicious predatory invasive fish that have become established in some Eastern US waters. Although they are unwanted and we would eliminate them if possible, they make for good sport After seeing a decline in invasive fish species, officials in Michigan are reporting that native fish populations in the Great Lakes are expanding rapidly South Dakota has published a specially themed issue of the “South Dakota Conservation Digest” that is devoted to invasive species articles and advice Salmon and Steelhead populations in the Columbia River have faced serious threats that have led to near extinction of some populations. Now there is a long-feared new threat – invasive northern pike The discovery of Asian carp invasions in Alabama has officials warning that the invasive fish may have an impact on some popular bass fishing lakes Outdoor recreationists have been identified as a primary vector for spreading weeds in Utah. In response, officials are asking all outdoor enthusiasts to make sure they are weed seed free On our Invasive Species Action Network Facebook page we post all types of invasive species news including stories about all types of invaders, policy issues and other items of interest. In Great Britain, researchers have proclaimed the harlequin ladybird beetle to be the fastest spreading invasive species Recently, Minnesota officials have reported success in treating Christmas Lake for zebra mussels. However, new diving surveys show that adult mussels are still found in the lake Earwigs are a common garden pest that can cause significant crop damage. However, most people are unaware that earwigs are invasive China has done little to combat the introduction of invasive species. However, sightings of a bird sometimes called “feathered locusts” has led to a call for stricter regulations on imported species The BLM is planning on creating fuel breaks along a 57 mile stretch of Interstate 84 near Boise Idaho.However, the project is being criticized for promoting the planting of an invasive grass species Minnesota is making the fight against invasives a local issue by providing direct grants to localities engaged in invasive species control and prevention. This is a new model of approaching the issue and we can expect to learn much Non-native parakeet populations are rapidly expanding in both North America and Europe. New research shows that all of these invaders are genetically identical and all came from a small area in South America Fednav Limited, the largest Canadian operator of international ships in the Great Lakes, has announced that they are equipping their new ships with ballast water treatment systems to reduce invasive species transport Most people believe that earthworms are beneficial creatures that help to maintain healthy soils. This is far from true as, in fact, earthworms are invaders that have a significant impact on the environment Our Forest Pest Fly Tying Project Facebook page provides information for anyone concerned about the spread of forest pest insects. Visit the page and join the conversation about the problem and our unique fly tying program. Montana Governor Steve Bullock was on hand to greet and congratulate the student fly tiers who tied Asian longhorned beetle flies at the state Arbor Day Celebration Pine forests in the Rockies have been hit hard by insect pests including the mountain pine beetle and the spruce bud worm. Now another pest is decimating forests in Colorado
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FWP’s recommendations and an online comment form are available online at the department’s website –http://fwp.mt.gov – and follow the links to Fishing, Fishing Regulations and “Comment on 2016-19 Fishing Regulations.”
FWP also has scheduled two public meetings in May to accept comments and suggestions:
- Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Columbus Fire Hall, 944 East Pike Ave.
- Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. FWP’s Region 5 Headquarters, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive in Billings Heights.
Every four years, FWP considers all facets of Montana’s fishing regulations. The rules currently under scrutiny would run from 2016 through 2019.
As part of the process, FWP is asking anglers what parts of the regulations they would like to change. They also will ask anglers to comment on FWP’s proposals, which are designed to simplify the regulations.
All comments are due by May 31. FWP biologists will draft their recommendations in June and the FWP Commission will finalize regulations in July.
Anglers may submit their comments and suggestions at one of the meetings, in writing or online. The online form is at:
Written comments may be mailed to FWP’s headquarters at:
Fisheries, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is seeking landowners in Region 5 who are interested in participating in Block Management. Block Management is a cooperative effort between landowners, public land management agencies, and FWP to help manage public hunting activities and provide equitable hunting opportunities.
In the Block Management program, landowners and FWP enter into voluntary agreements that spell out how hunting will be conducted on the landowner’s property. Items such as permission requirements, times when permission will be granted, vehicle use, and numbers of hunters are a few examples of what is covered in a contract.
Block Management offers various benefits to landowners enrolled in the program. These include compensation to offset impacts associated with allowing public hunting, hunter and wildlife management, and a complimentary, non-transferable sportsman’s license. Additionally, participants do not relinquish any rights by enrolling and are covered by Montana’s recreational liability statute as well as livestock loss reimbursement, both of which are extended to landowners who allow access at no charge.
Yearly budgets are limited, so lands offered for enrollment are prioritized on a region-wide basis. Habitat quality, regional access needs, and hunter opportunity are considered while prioritizing properties.
For more information, or to receive an application package, interested landowners can contact Dale Nixdorf, R5 Block Management Coordinator, at 406-247-2959, or the Region 5 FWP office at 406-247-2940.
On Jan. 17, 2015, a 12-inch-diameter Bridger Pipeline broke beneath the Yellowstone River six miles upstream from Glendive, dumping some 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the water. Efforts to clean up the spill and account for damage from the oil were thwarted until last week because ice covered the river.
FWP has issued a fish-consumption advisory for any fish caught below the spill site, warning anglers to use caution when deciding whether to eat their catches from the river until the department can determine whether they are safe. The advisory will be in effect at least for two more weeks while FWP tests fish caught since ice-out.
Montana’s 2015 paddlefish season on the Yellowstone River opens May 15. The department has no plans to change the season as a result of the oil spill.
FWP biologists said this week that paddlefish spend much of the winter in Lake Sakakawea on the Missouri River in west central North Dakota. The fish do not stage at the upstream end of the lake and begin their migration toward the Yellowstone River until early May. FWP biologists do not believe that the Yellowstone River’s paddlefish were directly exposed to the spilled oil.
As a result, the department has no plans to postpone or change the 2015 paddlefish season or issue an advisory for consumption of paddlefish fillets or caviar.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade 3/14/15 in Billings. Weather was very nice
but I thought it was going to be a bit nicer.
We had a good turnout. We took a group member photo for all the members and kids that showed up to help decorate and ride on the float. Roger, Sharon Henry and grandkids, Mike Spear, Clayton Sorenson, Darcy Russell, Lee and Leown Keyser, Ryan, Terry Harris and grandkids, Henry and Linda Yeager, Clay Buckmiller, Johnny, Bridgette Cash and kids, Greg and Becky Heil, and hopefully new member Ridon and her daughter Raelin.
Johnny and Bridgette Cash had friends and family show up and I think some of them may be joining and maybe have joined. Nic and Ciarra rode on the float with us as well.
Thanks to all that showed up and helped. We all had a really good
time, lots of walkers, and lots of candy, kids fishing day flyers, bobbers, and folding Frisbees handed out. We almost had enough to make it through the whole parade.
People who have caught fish in the Yellowstone River between the spill site, six miles upstream from Glendive, and the North Dakota state line should be cautious about consuming them.
This week FWP biologists started capturing fish below the oil spill site and sending them to a laboratory for testing. Biologists and game wardens also are asking anglers if they will donate fish from their catch for laboratory testing. Test results should be returned in the next two weeks and FWP will publish the data so fishermen can determine whether their catch is suitable for consumption.
Published research indicates that petroleum compounds can accumulate in fish for 40 or more days after a spill. FWP will continue to sample fish throughout the river to try to detect any accumulation. Petroleum compounds can also be passed on to fish through the food chain when micro-organisms, insects, worms, crustaceans and other aquatic animals absorb petroleum compounds then are eaten by fish.
The advisory was issued as a precaution, advising anglers to tend toward conservative decisions and prudent practice when it comes to the health effects of the oil spill.
In addition to paddlefish and endangered pallid sturgeon, this stretch of the Yellowstone River holds channel catfish, sauger, walleye, northern pike, bigmouth buffalo, black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, blue sucker, brassy minnow, brook stickleback, burbot, cisco, common carp, creek chub, emerald shiner, fathead minnow, flathead chub, freshwater drum, goldeye, golden shiner, green sunfish, lake chub, largemouth bass, longnose dace, longnose sucker, mountain sucker, northern redbelly dace, plains minnow, plains killifish, pumpkinseed, rainbow smelt, river carpsucker, sand shiner, shorthead redhorse, shortnose gar, shovelnose sturgeon, sicklefin chub, smallmouth bass, smallmouth buffalo, spottail shiner, stonecat, sturgeon chub, western silvery minnow, white bass, white crappie, white sucker, yellow bullhead and yellow perch.
People with questions or who want to report contaminated fish or wildlife may call the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 7 office at 406-234-0900. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has set up a toll-free telephone number — 888-959-8351 – to report oil-covered wildlife.